We've all heard the story about how Anheuser-Busch came roaring back to life after Prohibition ended in 1933. The King of Beers even delivered a wagon of suds to President Franklin Roosevelt at the White House, you may have seen the famous picture of that moment.
But another Missouri industry never really fully recovered after prohibition; Missouri's vast collection of wineries.
"Missouri really was an amazing center of wine production," explained Andrew Wanko, at the Missouri History Museum. "You had wineries at Stone Hill and Mount Pleasant that had been in production for nearly 100 years. And prohibition just cut them out, and they wouldn't recover for decades."
The early explosion and near death of Missouri's wine industry is part of the "American Spirits" exhibit at the Missouri History Museum, which runs until August 17.
"The breweries in St. Louis, like Anheuser-Busch, switched to making cereal, ice cream, and soft drinks to stay afloat during prohibition," Wanko said. "But the wineries really struggled."
When the 21st Amendment repealed prohibition in 1933, Missouri's brewers, many with German roots, had 50,000 gallons of beer ready to hit the once-again-legal marketplace. But the state's once-flourishing German wineries struggled to bloom back to life. The state's vintners nearly died on the vine and even now aren't fully recovered from The Volstead Act.
Missouri's vineyards slowly regained momentum in the 1960s. Experts say now, finally, vintners are seeing the resurgence.
"In 1980, Augusta, Missouri was declared America's first federally approved viticultural area, even before Napa Valley," Wanko said.